Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin has given final approval to legislation allowing him to hold office for two additional six-year terms.
This opens the possibility for him to stay in power until 2036.
According to a copy posted on the government’s legal information portal, the 68-year-old Russian leader, who has already been in power for more than two decades, signed off on the bill Monday.
The change was proposed last year by Putin as part of constitutional reforms that Russians overwhelmingly backed in a vote in July. Lawmakers approved the bill last month.
The legislation will reset presidential term limits, which will enable Putin to run in elections again after his current and second consecutive term expires in 2024.
The Russian leader was first elected president in 2000 and served two consecutive four-year terms. His ally Dmitry Medvedev took his place in 2008, which critics saw as a way around Russia’s limit of two consecutive terms for presidents.
During his tenue, Medvedev signed off on legislation extending terms to six years starting with the next president.
In 2012, Putin then returned to the Kremlin and won re-election in 2018.
The term reset was part of constitutional reforms that included populist economic measures and sweeteners for traditionalists such as an effective ban on gay marriage.
Russians voted yes or no to the entire bundle of amendments in a vote last summer that was held over the course of a week.